No MCC deal sans revision, says Dahal

Kathmandu, February 29

Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal today told mediapersons in Sindhupalchowk that if the United States did not agree to revise the Millennium Challenge Corporation programme, Nepal would not endorse it.

Dahal said MCC could be endorsed only as per the recommendations made by the NCP taskforce led by Jhalanath Khanal.

Dahal’s statement comes at a time when Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who has fallen in minority in the nine-member Secretariat, is trying to pass the MCC agreement with or without revision.

However, other party leaders, including Dahal, Khanal, Bhim Rawal and some for mer CPN-Maoist leaders are for endorsing the MCC only after revising it.

Those NCP leaders who want revision in the MCC say the agreement cannot be adopted in its present form because it undermines Nepal’s sovereignty and independence.

Speaking to journalists at Sikute, Sindhupalchowk, Dahal said he was not in favour of compromising national interest in the name of 500 million dollars US grant.

Stating that Nepal enjoyed cordial ties with the US, Dahal said a request would be made, along with some suggestions for revising the MCC agreement. “If the US does not agree to revise the MCC agreement, it won’t be endorsed,” he added.

US officials have, however, said there is no possibility of revising the MCC.

The government had registered the MCC agreement at the Parliament Secretariat in the last session of the Parliament, but it could not be endorsed as former speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara did not forward the process, drawing Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s ire.

PM Oli had said in a newspaper interview that Mahara erred by not moving the MCC process ahead in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, NCP leader Jhalanath Khanal, who had submitted his taskforce report to the party saying the MCC should not be endorsed in its present form, also said today in Nuwakot that MCC should not be endorsed without revision. The day he submitted the report to the party, he told THT that the MCC agreement undermined Nepal’s sovereignty and independence.